Maximize Your Home Value
PREPARE YOUR HOME FOR SALE
Now is the perfect time to look after all of those repairs and jobs you have been putting off. It is very true that you only get one chance to make a first impression. Make sure your house does this and stands out from the competition. On the exterior look for broken or missing roof tiles, cracked or broken windows, cracked patio stones, weeds in your guttering, chipped paint. A power washed driveway and patio can make a huge difference. Try to look at your home as though through a buyers eyes. Create an itemized list and decide which jobs you can do and which jobs you need help with – hire a local handyman for jobs you can’t or don’t want to do.
TIDY THE GARDEN, PATHS AND DRIVEWAY
Your garden goes a long way to making that all important first impression. You want buyers smiling before they reach the front door. Buyers should love the outside so much that they are itching to see the inside. The outside should be inviting, welcoming and comfortable. Make sure your grass is always cut (you never know when somebody might just drive by). Keep the edges of your driveways and paths trimmed and free of weeds. Plant colourful flowers and shrubs and keep them in good order. Make sure your driveway and paths do not have toys and tools spread about waiting to trip up unsuspecting buyers.
DECLUTTER, DECLUTTER, DECLUTTER
Decluttering is probably the hardest thing to do. Deciding what to get rid of, what to store and what to sell. It is however really important to the sell-ability of your home. Buyers often find it very hard to see past your clutter and visualize their things fitting in. Taking the first step to declutter is always the hardest. The easiest way is to do one room at a time – trying to tackle the whole house can be overwhelming. Donate books, toys, clothing and duplicate household items, or sell on a second hand site and use the money to buy something lovely for your new home. If there is too much, put items in organized boxes or plastic storage boxes, label them and store in the corner of your garage or somewhere out of sight.
CLEAN – MAKE IT SPARKLE
A clean house is one of the most important factors when selling. Buyers love to see gleaming kitchens and bathrooms, freshly laundered and made beds and gleaming woodwork. Many homes look pristine every day, which is great, but for those of us who have a “lived in” look, a spring clean, when marketing a house is a great investment. Make sure that you clean the woodwork and the floors thoroughly, windows should be sparkling clean and carpets beautifully vacuumed. And if you really don’t want to do this yourself there are many reasonably priced cleaning companies and individuals who will clean for you.
LIGHTS AND LAMPS
Lighting is key to highlighting darker areas and creating a cosy atmosphere, especially in rooms where natural light is limited. Make sure your bulbs are all working and replace those that aren’t. Clean lampshades and covers. If you have very outdated light fixtures there are plenty of very reasonably priced fixtures on the market that can quickly transform a room. When you have buyers coming to view, turn your lights and lamps on before they arrive to give a good first impression.
YOUR FURRY FAMILY
Regrettably, not everybody loves our four legged family as much as we do, or appreciates the honor of sharing our home with them. Make sure that cat litter is clean and no odors arising, carpets that may have a pet stain, or two, should be thoroughly cleaned and deodorized. Just before potential buyers arrive, check to make sure any parcels left in the garden have been picked up and disposed of. Ideally remove pets from the home before viewings. You want to ensure buyers are looking at your home and not either trying to fuss your pets or trying to dodge them – either way the attention is on your pet and not the house.
AIR FRESHENERS, DEODORIZERS, INCENSE
Your house should smell clean and fresh. These products tend to make buyers wonder what you are covering up and the answer is usually damp, pet smells or cigarette smells. Use these products very sparingly, if at all and try to stick to citrus or vanilla which are least offensive.
There is nothing more discouraging than having a buyer and losing them because the paperwork for your house is not in order. When your house goes on the market ensure all of the paperwork for the house is correct, available, and up to date. If you are not sure what the legal requirements are for your area, ask your estate agent. Paperwork should include, title deeds, land registry documents, warranties, energy certificate. It is also useful to have the last three months utilities bills to hand to show the energy efficiency of your home.